I have a 97 Bounder built on a Ford chassis, with adequate cargo rating, mainly because it is the 30' model without a slide out, and that kept the weight down. I can carry a total of 2,734 pounds, yet need to deduct things like 800 pounds if I fill the 100 gallon fresh water tank all the way.
I have the last year Ford put the 460" V8 into anything. I did not want the smaller V10, and I guess it's a good thing, because the first couple of years the spark plugs where designed with only about 4 threads into the aluminum heads, and overtightening them caused the threads to bottom out, and come out of the head, leaving the spark plug dangling from it's wire, someplace under the RV. Yet it would have been nice to have the 19.5" tires on this RV, the front axle is a bit to close to being overloaded. Nearly 6,000 pounds on it, with a pair of tires rated at just 3,042 pounds each, I keep thinking in a turn one tire must be overloaded for a while.
Bounder is a good design, but not the most plush, it has limited options on it. The Bounder is a "Basic" RV, does what it needs to do well. Pace Arrow is step up in cost and includes things like factory installed levelers and rear back up camera with the base price. Southwind was a further step up, and included even more items as standard, with a few top of the line options not available in the Bounder lineup. Not to be confused with the entry level Southwind Storm, separated further by calling that basic lineup "Stormy" a couple of years later in 98 or 99.
Some years, all motorhomes built with the GMC chassis had problems with the automatic parking brake not releasing like it should have. At one point, all Ford motorhomes had to be recalled because the cruise control system was not properly fused, and the dealer needed to change some wiring, that was supposed to prevent them from catching on fire. Most of that work was completed some years ago, yet still check to see if the recall work was completed.
We really liked our Bounder but it was not built for full timing. Also FW would not back the product, the outside wall was seperating from the inside bath wall. You could stand in the bath and look into the living room. No more FW in this lifetime.
Tis another fine day to serve in and for the glory of the Corps. Every day is a holiday and every meal a feast.
07 Ranger Toad
One Golden Retriever at the Rainbow Bridge and a new one traveling with us.
We drive 95 32H Bounder on a Ford F53 chassis with 107K miles on the clock. As with any MH it has required periodic maintenance through out the years. All gas motorhomes of that era will require constant weight management. If we were to start over, we would make the same choice. The first 8.5' wide Bounder was the 35U in 95. All other 95s were 8' wide. 96 and later Bounders were 8.5' wide. Basement storage changed for the better in 95. Some Ford Bounders got the V10 in 98. Chevy Bounders became Workhorse Bounders in 2000. Bounders of that era were very practical but not always attractive. Bounders of that era were the best selling gas motorhomes on the road. There must have been a reason for that. When buying a motorhome of that age, be prepared to spend more time and money than you ever anticipated, on its maintenance.
Most construction failures were from water infusion from lack of owner maintenance. Those caulked seams on the roof will need annual inspection and repair. Look closely for delamination.
* This post was
edited 04/28/12 10:20am by RLS7201 *
We fulltime in a '97 Bounder, 38.5 feet, no slides. We had to have new manifolds when we first bought it (used with ~60,000 miles) and some brake work but that's it, it's been a great home for us. Would have no qualms buying another.
Well, I'll put my two cents in too. We had a '99 Bounder 34V, with single galley slide and the F-53 Chassis and V-10. We never had any troubles with the infamous "popping out" spark plugs. We put around 40K on that rig over a 7 year span and had absolutely "0" problems with it in terms of the drive train and structural components.
It had great lower basement storage, and the interior was very adequate. The interior cabinetry was well done and we had no issues with drawer, door, or shelf systems. The first few years, the V-10 was the 275 HP model and it just about HAD to have the Banks system on it to really help it get along. The later ones ended up with the 310HP versions and, I'm not too sure but, I think the latest ones have the 365HP versions. They say the Banks system does not do much for those engines. But, that's another topic.
About the only thing I can say AGAINST the Bounder is, it was poorly designed in terms of placement of the water tank, the fuel tank and the LPG tank. You see, in ours, a 34V, we had the 100 Gallon Water tank in the absolute rear of the coach, and just behind the rear differential was the 75 Gallon Fuel tank and, to the right of that, on the passenger side, was the 14 Gallon LPG tank.
So, all that weight, was aft of the rear axle. Now what that did was make the ride rougher than it already was in the front end. It cantilevers the weight off the front. So, the front springs are now stiffer because they're not operating at near their capacity.
But, that's all work-able. It can be remedied. As for the coach itself, we sold it to our daughter and son in law. It's still working just fine. For us, it made the trip from San Diego to Moab UT and back for 7 years straight for the Easter Jeep Safari with a hitch.
We'd have gone after a Bounder diesel if they would have put a larger motor in them but, for most of the Bounder's diesel years, it's only a 300 HP engine and I wanted a bit more. So we ended up with something else.
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 White Honda CRV EX-L,4WD w/NAV Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND
I have a Bounder 34V, one slide, Hydraulic levelers, full awnings, back up camera, Ford 460 engine, 5500 Onan generator and two AC units.
The RV has not required Fleetwood service once in 15 years.
I just re-read my own post and it sounded like I was saying that the Bounder had not required any maintenance in 15 years. I meant that it has never required any repairs specific to it's being a Bounder.
All older motor homes require constant upkeep. The big items on mine have been exhaust headers and brake maintenance.